Jeffery Straker Wing
Review by: Len Rogers
An aspect of Jeffery Straker always amazing to me is his ability to bring new vision and life to his musical experiences. "Vagabond" is certainly a new vision. A very good one indeed. Jeffery was looking to create an experience of 'wide open and relaxed' with "Vagabond". A series of 'all these songs he had been performing and some new material'.
Typically when I think Straker I think; body moving piano, lyrics which infuse energy with passion, and kinetic action. "Vagabond" is again a new vision, a broader Straker. More of a lengthy hug of his talents, than a need to move experience. Still the massive and impressive piano skill combined with strong lyrics, and vocal talent that holds and soothes. In "Vagabond" Jeffery brings a cool energy keeping you all ears. Nine songs which at album end left me feeling refreshed, peaceful, and definitely wanting more. That 'wanting more' is a constant in my opinion with Jeffery Straker.
From opening track, "Birch Bark Canoe" to the whimsical closing "Foolish" Jeffery takes you on a musical journey much like the lyrics in "Birch Bark Canoe" "floating out to see". Floating being the sensation "Vagabond" brings. But not free floating where danger lurks. More like a guided boat experience where Straker has complete control over flow and tide. "Birch Bark Canoe" through "Botanic Gardens" is a gentle trip. Lyrics that tease and spark an emotional answer. While taking the listener gently through a sensation of peaceful relaxed imagery.
"Sans Souci" Changes the feel and tempo. Brings it all up and to front mind that this is Jeffery Straker. Just in case you may have had a momentary relaxed forgetful moment. Here is the familiar body moving Straker. The rushes of the river so to speak. Here are the fiery lyrics and instrumentation which make you know, this is Jeffery Starker. Now that you are keenly aware again and focused on the musician, Jeffery returns to the origin of "Vagabond". With a more open and relaxed journey. Straker has a wonderful way of lifting and placing his listeners in musical and lyrical places. Good places full of the imagery that is just best described as, Jeffery Straker.
I have to mention that the musical weaving in "Vagabond" is nothing less than amazing. By weaving I mean the way Jeffery weaves instrumentation with vocal prowess. A weaving that makes the experience totally absorbing and enveloping. You literally become wrapped in Straker's vision, his message, and his music. An area where Jeffery Straker excels for me is this ability to make his music a total experience. I find it not such an easy undertaking to multi-task while listening to his music. Even if you take away a portion as with "Raven", Cathode Rays" and Myopia" you get a trio of vision, catchy melody, and lyrics that blend while being uniquely haunting. "Vagabond" may indeed have been "all these songs" Jeffery had been performing, but for me one of his best compilations. The nine tracks indeed fit and flow. And as back with the floating, leave you in a wonderful place.
To find out all that is Jeffery Straker visit his website.
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